[CT Birds] Long beach Iceland

Greg Hanisek ghanisek at rep-am.com
Thu Jan 16 18:05:30 EST 2014


Wow, we actually have a gull thing going on CTBirds:)! Thought I had to go the IDFrontiers to wallow in one of those. Keith is absoluetly right that in this case opinions are a major consideration, because the North America Iceland gulls have always been a matter of much scientific uncertainty. The term "hybrid swarm" has been bandied about to account for their highly variable presence between L. g. glaucoides to the east and Thayer's Gull to the west, with plenty of Herring influence available. The Long Beach bird is definitely interesting and worth looking at (if you're not gull-phobic).    
   
Greg Hanisek  
   
   
    _____  

    
From: kmueller at ntplx.net
To: ctbirds at lists.ctbirding.org
Sent: Thu, 16 Jan 2014 17:37:27 -0500
Subject: Re: [CT Birds] Long beach Iceland


Wow, this Gull seems to be getting quite a bit of attention, and 
deceivingly so!. If you haven't seen it, you should go down to Long 
Beach and enjoy it; it is a lovely Gull. I first became interested in 
this Gull last March when Donna Caporaso found it. She sent me a 
picture of the Gull and I recognized that this Gull was "different". I 
went down to Long Beach a few days later in the afternoon after one of 
those horrendous storms we had. I found the Gull on the beach way down 
beyond the jetty at the west end of the parking lot. I was instantly 
captivated by this Gull, and spent many hours observing it in March 
and April until it left. When it showed up again last month I 
recognized it immediately, now a 2nd cycle.

Today was the eighth visit this Dec. and Jan. I had to Long Beach 
studying this Gull. In total I have spent well over 60 hours studying 
this one Gull up close focusing very closely on its specific overall 
form and structure and most importantly its Gestalt.....which is what 
I have trained myself to do for nearly 40 years for my art. I have a 
long list of field observations (and nearly 20,000 pictures) for this 
Gull that makes me conclude that it "possibly/probably" has features 
and influences from two species of Gulls. This is why I (and a list of 
others) feel that it is a "possible" hybrid Gull with a larger 
influence being Kumlien's Gull. For me, avian form and function, and 
species traits are the backbone to my work This was the basis for the 
book I wrote called Waterfowl Concepts...Form and Function.

So if this Gull is a Kumlien's Gull, that's great! But I have to 
respectfully disagree that this Gull can only be a "classic example" 
of a Kumlien's Gull (which is a hybrid BTW). In my opinion it has many 
characteristics that offer a possibility of it being a "possible" 
hybrid.

There are no guide lines or charts that identify what hybrids should 
look like. Hybridization may be more common than recognized because 
hybrids may look similar to the parent species and not be recognized 
as hybrids. When I raised wild waterfowl, hybrids happened all the 
time. Often the fledglings looked obvious what the parent species 
were, other times (an often in the same clutch) they would only have a 
hint of the parent species or sometimes not at all.

In the end, its just an opinion.....and my opinion is that it is a 
lovely and interesting Gull, that is quite unique. But I still believe 
it is a "possible" hybrid.

Enjoy the Gull!

Keith Mueller











Quoting Greg Hanisek <ghanisek at rep-am.com>:

> I happened to see this gull for the first time a couple days ago, 
> and I'd have to agree with Julian that I don't see any reason to 
> call it anything but kumlieni, give the variablity of that taxon. As 
> a quick note for the many newer birders and new participants on this 
> list, it's fine to call this an Iceland Gull, Larus glaucoides. 
> Essentially, based on current taxonomy, all Iceland Gulls seen in 
> our area are of the North American subspecies - Larus glaucoides 
> kumleini (aka "Kumlien's" Gull, also an acceptable common name), 
> breeding in eastern Arctic Canada. The Old World subspecies of 
> Iceland Gull, Larus glaucoides glaucoides, has never been documented 
> in CT and has only rarely been recorded in North America. It breeds 
> in Greenland and winters in Europe. The NA birds (L. g. kumlieni) 
> show varying amounts of gray in the wingtips (as does the Long Beach 
> bird), while L. g. glaucoides has pure white wing tips.
>
> Greg Hanisek
> Waterbury
> _____
>
>
> From: julian hough [mailto:jrhough1 at snet.net]
> To: ctbirds at lists.ctbirding.org [mailto:ctbirds at lists.ctbirding.org]
> Sent: Thu, 16 Jan 2014 13:13:06 -0500
> Subject: [CT Birds] Long beach Iceland
>
> Just to reitorate to others on the list that may not be aware or be 
> confused, that the gull that has been at Long Beach - and labelled 
> previously by some as a "hybrid" or Glaucous Gull for the past two 
> years is, on plumage, a straightforward 2nd-cycle Iceland Gull, 
> albeit a large one. It is perhaps misleading, at least in my 
> opinion, to continue to refer to this bird as a hybrid.
>
>
> Julian Hough
> New Haven, CT 06519
> www.naturescapeimages.wordpress.com
>
>
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